Megane Bashi – “Spectacles Bridge”
17may16. Nagasaki, Japan.
Dejima 出島 “exit island” was a small artificial island built in the bay of Nagasaki in 1634 by local merchants. This island was the single place of direct trade and exchange between Japan and the outside world during the Edo period. Dejima was built to keep foreign traders away from the main island of Japan as part of sakoku, the self-imposed isolationist policy. Originally built to house Portuguese traders, it was used by the Dutch as a trading post from 1641 until 1853.
16may16. Nagasaki, Japan.
“When you are a young person, you are like a young creek, and you meet many rocks, many obstacles and difficulties on your way. You hurry to get past these obstacles and get to the ocean. But as the creek moves down through the fields, it becomes larges and calmer and it can enjoy the reflection of the sky. It’s wonderful. You will arrive at the sea anyway so enjoy the journey. Enjoy the sunshine, the sunset, the moon, the birds, the trees, and the many beauties along the way. Taste every moment of your daily life.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
may16. Nagasaki, Japan.
9.7 meters-high Peace Statue symbolizing Nagasaki citizens’ wish for peace.
The raised right hand points to the heavens to signify the threat of atomic weapons.
The left arm is raised horizontally to represent the wish for peace.
The figure’s eyes are lightly closed in prayer for the souls of the atomic bomb victims.
Brick remnants are all that remain of Urakami prison ~ so close to the hypocenter, it pretty much disintegrated and there were no survivors.
Statue dedicated to the teachers and schoolchildren who perished in the atomic bombing.
may16. Nagasaki, Japan.
Located about 800 meters from the hypocenter, Sanno Shinto Shrine barely had time to gasp. The instantaneous flash of heat, which reached as high as 4000 degrees on the ground, vaporized the leaves and branches on the camphor trees. Then the blast, ten times greater than the fiercest hurricane, pulverized the shrine buildings and slapped down all the stone balustrades, lanterns, sculptures and gates nearby. But when the wind finally abated and the dust settled, the stunned deities of the shrine found that one of the legs of the torii arch at the top of the steps had remained miraculously upright.
Now half a century has passed since that fateful day. The hillside is lush with greenery again, Sanno Shrine has been reconstructed, and the neighborhood is a similar — albeit modernized — version of its pre-war self. Nothing in this typical urban tangle even hints at the catastrophe that occurred here in 1945.
But the ominously significant one-legged arch continues to do its delicate balancing act and to look down upon the changing city. Robbed of a leg by the world’s first experiment with nuclear war, it points silently to the uneasiness of humankind and to the precarious state of a fragile planet forced to live with the threat of nuclear destruction. (Brian Burke-Gaffney) – http://www.uwosh.edu/home_pages/faculty_staff/earns/torii.html